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NIST Publishes Outline for Advanced “Smart Grid”

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1_power_gridAn important piece of President Obama’s energy plan is moving forward with the announcement from the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of an initial list of standards, a preliminary cyber security strategy, and other parts of a framework to support transforming America’s aging electric power system into an interoperable “Smart Grid.”

“This is an important milestone for NIST, for the entire community of Smart Grid stakeholders, and for the nation,” NIST Director Patrick Gallagher said. “This first installment of the Smart Grid interoperability framework will pay dividends to our nation for decades to come. Just as Congress intended, we are building a foundation for sustainable growth and future prosperity.”

Gallagher announced the publication of “NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 1.0” to the NIST-hosted IEEE Innovative Smart Technologies Conference.

A draft of the report had gone to review in September 2009 for review by the public.  More than 80 individuals and organizations submitted comments.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) heads instituting rulemaking proceedings, and when a consensus is reached, “adopting the standards and protocols necessary to ensure Smart Grid functionality and interoperability in interstate transmission of electric power and in regional and wholesale electricity markets.”

However, some of the standards mentioned in the NIST report are still in a revisionary process and some that are already used voluntarily by industry, may not warrant adoption by FERC or other regulators.

“NIST is working closely with FERC and state utility regulators so that we can coordinate development of additional technical information on individual standards to support their evaluation and potential use for regulatory purposes,” said George Arnold, NIST’s national coordinator for Smart Grid interoperability.

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